Our good friends The Velveteers are set to embark on their UK tour and have this amazing video to share to day with us. The video is loud, weird, and just right up our alley. The band has always held a special place in our hearts and we suggest coming out to see them this Saturday.
Current Joys, a project by Surf Curse’s Nick Rattigan came through Larimer Lounge on Monday, March 19th.
A Different Age, latest album by Rattigan is a really heart wrenching documentation of growing up and making art in a time where everything essentially sucks, and by the looks of the crowd, this really resonates with people ages 16-25. For an album created with a single guitar, drums, loop pedal and his laptop, the album is complex, diverse, and the melodies have a nostalgic air about them. Admittedly, the music has a sad boy surf rock tone to it, but it is approachable and makes me want to cruise and contemplate my life. Lyrics such as, “I’m just a kid, I never use my brain, I only use my heart, and my imagination.” or, “Don’t know what I’m doing, I can’t make up my mind, can’t see where I’m going, it’s too dark outside” feel so descriptive of growing up, and the poetic ability of this 25 year old Nevada native, severely underrated. *hint hint* Check it out.
An obvious fan club was present, and everyone there seemed to have knowledge and fondness of the band, along with an undeniable surf rock energy that was simply fun to be around. The most tame mosh pit ever erupted at one point during one of the bangers like “New Flesh” Or “Televisions” and that was mirrored by a boisterous rock presence by Current Joys. Very visibly enjoying what he was doing, Rattigan interacted with fans in the crowd, and even sat behind the merch table talking to fans and selling his own t-shirts when he wasn’t on stage. Talk about a cool dude!
Current Joys is the enigmatic solo project of 25-year-old Henderson, Nevada-born songwriter Nicholas Rattigan. In addition to his minimal two-piece band with Jacob Rubeck, Surf Curse, Rattigan has been releasing a prolific catalog of heart-wrenching no wave ballads via Bandcamp under a handful of names (including The Nicholas Project and Tele/Visions), eventually choosing Current Joys as the permanent moniker, based on a song by folk-artist Liam the Younger of the same name. His newest release, A Different Age, documents the process of making art and the desire to create it sincerely in an era fraught with extreme irony, apathy, and nostalgia. Ripe with many of the emotions and conflicts that have influenced Rattigan’s songwriting in the past, A Different Age contains some of his most poetic lyrics and thoughtful arrangements to date.
Rattigan started writing the material for A Different Age, his fifth solo album, in 2015, shortly after moving from Reno to New York City and the release of the album Me Oh My Mirror (the limited-edition cassette of which is now sold out, along with all his other tape releases). A Different Age has changed drastically over the past three years as a result of Rattigan’s relocations, with each city influencing and altering his work. He discarded and re-recorded various tracks many times over throughout the process. Rattigan’s work on the album spans across almost three years, primarily due to the success of his other project Surf Curse who released a new critically acclaimed LP, multiple tape re-issues, and toured across America and Europe since he began making A Different Age.
He first wrote the title track, which serves as the album’s emotional core. A meditation on an artist’s place in contemporary culture, Rattigan sings about breaking free from outdated conventions over a driving beat and lush string arrangements that swell to a chilling static. Rattigan later revisits those themes throughout the record while also referencing the films and art that has inspired him. A nod to Brian Eno, the slow burning album opener “Become the Warm Jets” reflects on the power of music and the overwhelming feelings that hit when “that old song starts to play.” Later on, in “My Nights are More Beautiful Than Your Days” (named after a film by French director Andrzej Żuławski), Rattigan’s haunting vocals acknowledge the futility in trying to outrun one’s past. While most artists would draw influence from other musicians, Rattigan, a cinefile, is inspired by the works of several different directors. The vibrant, dark tone of the album is set to reflect the films of German new wave director Rainer Werner Fassbinder and the slow burning pace of the Belgian art-house filmmaker Chantel Akerman.
As with his previous releases, Rattigan made most of A Different Age alone with a single guitar, drums, a loop pedal, and his laptop. After testing out many of the songs for the first time on the road and at sold out DIY shows in each of the cities he’s lived in, Rattigan consciously tried to distill the passion and spontaneity of his live performance into his recordings. He chose to leave many of the tracks desolate and sparse in an effort accentuate the emotional nuances of his performance. He also brought in label-mate Robert Tilden of BOYO to help record “Become The Warm Jets” and “A Different Age,” before eventually mixing and mastering the album on his own.
Catch Current Joys at Larimer Lounge this Monday, 3/19!
Mild High Club, an artist on Stones Throw Records, played one of our favorite venues for intimate shows, Larimer Lounge on Sunday. The band has a psychedelic pop sound reminiscent of Mac Demarco, in addition to their own stylish flares like cowbell percussion, and classic jazz sounding interludes.
I may be the only one who thinks Mild High Club is a lightly misleading name due to the fact that the band isn’t from Denver, but it definitely is misleading to the ability of front man Alex Brettin’s ability to hang with his implied fellow stoners. During the performance, after quite a few inconsistencies with his voice and missing some of his cues, Brettin admitted to being too stoned. After that, Brettin moved to keys, which appear to be his strong suit because the performance then improved significantly.
Similar to the structure of their newest album, Mild High Club played their strongest, most popular songs first, leading the crowd of fans into a sing along of “Windowpane”, “Homage”, and “Cary Me Back”. The rest kind of fell off for me, because nothing sounded nearly as good as it does on the studio version and it was a pretty forgettable set.
With two studio albums under their belt, Timeline (2015) and Skiptracing (2017) the band seems to be settling into their style and evolving, however there is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to the live performance. 6/10
Three piece band Tera Melos hasn’t graced Prog-Rock fans with any music since 2013’s X’ed Out but the groups newest album, Trash Generator, has fans of the innovators excited. Igniting the Larimer Lounge this past Friday with their fun presence, complex song structures, and use of effect pedals, Tera Melos was a sight to see, even if the music doesn’t suit your fancy. To understand what you missed, you must first understand the genre from which they come, “math rock”. Intricate guitar riffs, unconventional time signatures, and quickly alternating rhythmic patterns can feel chaotic to those who don’t get it. Being someone who has followed Tera Melos since 2009, I’ve seen the band grow in terms of approachability. They have added vocal measures that resonate with fans, and hooks that are repetitive enough to be catchy. Plus, they have a really awesome set up involving something like 15 sample and effect pedals that contribute to the intricacies and improvisation aspect of the genre, while showcasing their individuality.
A decent sized crowd of all ages looked as though they were enjoying themselves, most people taking part in the massive mosh pit that overtook the majority of the room. No bigots, no loud talkers, everyone was there to flail to some weird noise music and embrace a Friday night.
Openers Speedy Ortiz and local band Holophrase started the night off with a taste into progressive indie rock and industrial sounding electronics. Frontwoman of Holophrase, Malgosia Stacha, had nothing but wonderful things to share about her own experience and collaboration with group Tera Melos. “Nick, guitarist, played and co-produced or last album, so we use a lot of samples of his guitar which makes us sound cool, and Nick seems to love hearing himself all chopped up like in our songs.” Cool to know that the music of the evening all comes from a community inspired and thriving within itself. Obviously I had to ask Stacha what her favorite part of the night was, to which she responded, “It was seeing all the Tera Melos fans just completely lost in their music. I can’t forget their faces.” Hell yeah!
A bill worth seeing, musicians worth noting, in an environment that didn’t make me want to pull my hair out. 9/10